By on May 30, 2019

Once the sedan of choice for discerning Anglophiles and 1980s crime-fighting New Yorkers played by Edward Woodward, Jaguar’s XJ has seen a long fall from grace. This summer, the stately model officially hits the ground.

Amid tanking sales for both it and its sedan stablemates, the Jaguar XJ will cease production in a matter of months, with the automaker claiming its death is merely a passing phase.

Confirmed by a Jaguar spokesperson via Jalopnik, the end of the XJ’s 51-year production run this summer paves the way for the future introduction of a different take on British luxury motoring.

In a statement, the spokesperson said Jaguar will “continue the XJ nameplate and will use its renowned engineering capability and technological innovation to ensure its longevity.”

If you’re thinking all of those Autocar reports were right, you’re probably correct. The British publication has long forecasted the impending death of the XJ and its rebirth as an electric vehicle, possibly one containing a hatchback. Design boss Ian Callum and his team are reportedly working on something that bears no similarities to the XJs of old.

Which is too bad, as the pre-2004, steel-bodied XJs are gorgeous creatures you probably don’t want to own — and certainly don’t want to work on. Updating your image, however, requires a change of clothes. The automaker has already made waves in the emerging green vehicle market with its I-Pace SUV, and an all-electric XJ fastback five-door would need to leave the past in the rear-view to tempt the younger, forward-thinking set that will supposedly buy this vehicle.

Europe’s newfound disdain for internal combustion vehicles has made going electric (or partially electric) essential to the survival of many models. Thankfully, Jag has the platform and related tech to swap the XJ into a new persona. It’s probably best to get the transition out of the way before Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi go the same route.

With the model ending production at the UK’s Castle Bromwich plant this year, a successor can’t be too far away.

The XJ peaked in the U.S. in 1986 (the year after The Equalizer first aired), selling over 19,000 units that year, only to see its fortunes fall in the following decades. The last time U.S. buyers took home more than 10,000 XJs in one year was 2004. Last year’s sales tally amounted to just 1,579 vehicles, the worst showing since the recession year of 2009, with some months returning double-digit sales.

In April, 93 American nonconformists drove away in a new XJ.

1992 Jaguar XJ6 Vanden Plas Majestic in Colorado wrecking yard, RH front view - ©2019 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

[Images: Jaguar Land Rover, Murilee Martin/TTAC]

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20 Comments on “Jaguar to End XJ Production; Company Promises a Resurrection...”

  • avatar
    R Henry

    I don’t think any of us will notice XJ’s absence.

    • 0 avatar

      I’ve only seen a handful of the ones produced in the last decade, and that has suited me just fine. They took a car whose attractiveness was its greatest strength and replaced it with a replica of the 6000SUX from Robocop.

  • avatar

    It died in 2009.
    There are plenty of letters left in the alphabet and if the upcoming NWO hatchback will share nothing with the past then there is no reason to bring the title back.

  • avatar

    Jaguar always made such beautiful sedans even when they weren’t very good cars

  • avatar

    Jaguar Death Watch?

    Also, what is Clarkson’s take?

  • avatar

    I am increasingly skeptical of the impending BEV revolution. There’s barely enough battery capacity with like 2% market share. Where will the rest come from, and who wants to buy these cars?

    Confused about the 09+ XJ hate as well. I think it remains the best looking full size luxury car on the market, with a nice selection of powertrains too.

  • avatar

    “Design boss Ian Callum and his team are reportedly working on something that bears no similarities to the XJs of old.”

    Which I think is a problem for Jaguar in general. If you’re not going to offer BRITISH style and everything you make looks like it could be German, why would buyers pick you?

    I get that they probably don’t want to do retro, but STYLE has always been the reason to buy a Jaaag…

  • avatar

    Jag should team up with BMW and Toyota to use the Supra platform, just modify it to have good style and make it convertible and it will be the most iconic jag in decades.

  • avatar

    Callum’s problem is that he has to design a car for the international market but can’t afford to annoy Jaguars domestic customers like Ford did with the S type and X type which Brits hated. When the XF launched UK sales went through the roof and it didn’t matter what US sales did. Because of this every subsequent car they’ve made had to work at home.

    Making the XJ electric makes sense. My bet is it will break XJ sales records in year 1. Why? The similarly priced I Pace is already on track to achieve that…

    • 0 avatar

      Then why not have “retro” vehicles for international markets and generic vehicles for the British market? The brand offers several models already it isn’t a zero-sum thing.

      • 0 avatar

        With the 2002 E65, BMW utterly rejected beauty to prove that attractive cars and pedestrian impact regulations couldn’t coexist. The age of the ugly car was upon Europe and has since spread elsewhere. How was it that Jaguar launched the XJ350 in 2004, a car that looked like a restomod version of a 1970 XJ6? It wasn’t much of a sales success, but they were able to certify a near-clone of the best looking sedan of 35 years earlier while every other new European car became a tolerance builder for gag reflexes.

        • 0 avatar

          The X350 looks about as much like a restomod Series I as I look like I did in high school. The basic details are there, but it’s clearly thicker around the middle.

          Of course, there are good reasons for the changes (more headroom, more interior space in general, bigger trunk, and yes, probably pedestrian safety), but they absolutely didn’t keep the retro proportions.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    First off , excellent reference to the Equalizer- the one with a paunchy Brit superhero, not to be confused with the paunchy American superhero in the movie series.
    Count me as an 09+ XJ fan. This , with a normally aspirated v8 pretty much defines luxury in my book. I’ll still take a long glance every time I see one.
    I’d prefer a hybrid vs pure electric because luxury means not making concessions to infrastructure restraints.

  • avatar

    These things are popular with 50-60 year old African American guys around here, they put big chrome wheels on with low profile white wall+yellow stripe tires. It’s a bit of an acquired taste…

  • avatar

    I bought an 86 XJ6 in 1999 and DD’d for 6 or 7 years. Fabulous machine on the highway. Keeping it running was not as terrible as you might think, but it did have a number of quirks.

  • avatar
    Stanley Steamer

    Electric Jag? I guess they’ll call it the e-Type.

  • avatar

    Chances are, the XJ will be brought back as a Navigator-sized 3 row crossover with a giant cat on the hood that does double duty as a forward collision sensor.

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